Figuring them out

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Davidoc, Jul 17, 2001.

  1. Davidoc

    Davidoc Guest

    Sep 2, 2000
    Northern VA and JMU
    How do you figure out key signatures quickly? All those horn people seem to be able to do that.
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    two rules of thumb:

    flat keys - the second to last flat is the tonic of the key. 4 flats Bb Eb Ab Db = key of Ab

    Sharp keys - take the last sharp and go up a half step. 5 sharps - F# C# G# D# A# half step up from A# is B.

    easy, dig?
  3. Huh? I just play along and then see what key I'm playing in.
  4. That seems easy enough. This is one of the rare posts that I print out and save :)
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    There are other tricks, which are useful if the key centre changes in the song as it does in most jazz tunes.

    So like - the V is the dominant 7th chord in the key so if you see one of these, you can easily work out what the I chord is and hence the key centre.

    Two major 7th chords a fourth apart will tell you that the lower one is the I chord and hence the key!